Americans beat Finland to grab world bronze
The United States won bronze at the world ice hockey championships after beating co-hosts Finland 3-2 in a penalty shootout on Sunday.
- Published: 20/05/2013 at 01:49 AM
- Newspaper section: news
US goalkeeper John Gibson makes a save on Finland's forward Petri Kontiola at shootout during the bronze medal match Finland vs USA at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships on May 19, 2013 in Stockholm. USA won 3-2.
Montreal Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk scored the winning penalty as the US won their first world championship medal since a bronze in Prague in 2004.
US skipper Paul Stastny and Nashville Predators center Craig Smith both collected a goal and an assist, while netminder John Gibson produced 36 saves.
"I'm really proud of my players, who clinched this very important win for our country," US manager Joe Sacco said.
"But the most impressive thing for me was how quick the group of young players became the real team."
"We started the match really well. But after we went 2-0 up the Finns put tough pressure on us and levelled. Luckily, our goaltending today was really good, especially in the shootout. I'm proud of my guys and their play here."
Finland meanwhile lost the bronze-medal match for the second consecutive year.
The United States got off to a flying start through Smith, who sent the puck home with a backhand shot from just outside the crease after just 58 seconds.
Stastny, who plays for Colorado Avalanche, added his goal with 4:02 left of the first period, firing home from the left face-off circle on a powerplay.
In the second period the Finns moved up a gear to outshoot the Americans 10-6 but to no avail as the the US team's 19-year-old goalie was in command, stopping and deflecting all everything thrown at him.
But he was unable to prevent a goal by Phoenix Coyotes left wing Lauri Korpikoski, who redirected defender Ossi Vaananen's shot from the blue line into the net 8:56 into the third period.
Korpikoski netted his second of the match with 7:42 remaining in the third period, wristing the puck in from just outside the crease to level the scores at 2-2.
After a goalless overtime the match went to a penalty shootout.
The United States were just slightly more precise with Galchenyuk scoring the deciding penalty to secure a narrow win.
The final is between co-hosts Sweden and Switzerland later on Sunday.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
- Position: News agency